Twitter plans to roll out a free real-time analytics dashboard in the fourth quarter, said Ross Hoffman of the company’s business development team at a conference yesterday. Hoffman said Twitter would start a phased rollout of the dashboard to show users information about how their tweets are spreading and who is influential in their network. WebTrends caught the remark in a session at the Sports Marketing 2.0 Summit and cornered Hoffman for further deets.
If true, this has two larger implications:
- Twitter will not be charging for analytics, something execs have alluded to as a potential business model in the past.
- The impact may not only be the loss of a would-be Twitter business model, but also one for the startups currently offering analytics today.
Hoffman reportedly said Twitter would incorporate the technology it’s using to measure tweet “Resonance” for search results and other features. The dashboard is being built by the Smallthought Systems team that Twitter acquired in June, which had made Dabble DB and the analytics dashboard Trendly.
When asked to comment, Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner said in an email, “We’ve been talking about providing analytics since last December, but have nothing to add at this time.”
Penner was probably referring to remarks Twitter COO Dick Costolo made at a conference about offering commercial accounts that contain premium features like analytics dashboards and multiple authors. Costolo’s comments were meant to give shape to the then-mythical idea of Twitter business models, so the implication at the time seemed to be that this would be a paid service.
Since December, Twitter has matured significantly. The company and its developer ecosystem have, by necessity, come to a more honest and sometimes contentious relationship, with Twitter buying and launching products such as mobile clients that compete with third-party developers.
As for analytics, the Twitter app directory Oneforty lists 151 applications in that category. You can’t go very far on the web these days without running into a platform that helps marketers manage and analyze their Twitter presences — some include Scout Labs, Radian6, Klout, Twitalyzer and PostRank.
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